Wednesday, March 28, 2012

21 Jump Street

21 Jump Street

Directed by Phil Lord & Chris Miller

Based on a drama TV series from the 1980s, 21 Jump Streep has its fair share of buddy action/comedy cliches, but that's half the point. By no means a great movie, but still very entertaining.

Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, though both older looking than their roles (which is addressed multiple times throughout the movie) are otherwise very well-cast. Fans of Hill should be pleased, and even Tatum, who many find unlikable, is quite a lot of fun here. Instead of sticking completely to their stereotypes, due to an accidental misunderstanding by Tatum's character, their undercover identities are swapped and their roles reversed. Hilarity ensues.

The self-mocking nature of this movie is one of its strongest suits. Playing off of stereotypes that are used and abused within the genre, it either exploits or rebels against them to great comedic effect. Yes, this kind of thing has been done before (I was consistently reminded of Hot Fuzz throughout these running time), but its lack of originality is completely excused due to its self-awareness. This is not to say it's completely unoriginal, it's just fully aware of it when it is.

Some may find the humor too adult-oriented (there is very strong language throughout), but as an R-rated comedy, I don't know what else could be expected. Anyone who has seen Superbad, Get Him To The Greek, or practically any other Jonah Hill movie for that matter, should know by now exactly what the man is capable of, so the consistent use of profanity in this movie shouldn't be of any surprise. People who are strongly opposed to heavy language, drug and alcohol abuse, and violence should stay away from this movie. In other words, don't take your grandmother to see it -- unless she's the coolest grandmother ever.

Now, I personally find it extremely difficult to review comedies. Unlike most genres, comedies are one that in order to be considered good within the genre, it's almost solely required that it make you laugh, and taking into account personal taste in what makes something funny, I find it very difficult to view them objectively. Continuity, character development, originality, as well as many other things play very little part in the overall rating you might give a comedy. So, taking all of this into account, what it all boils down to is whether or not it was funny. And this was a funny movie.


Aditya Gokhale said...

Ah..."personal taste" is right...I don't even look up comedies unless highly recommended.

I found the Hot Shots films funny for their straightface spoof humour..but am not sure about 21 Jump Street.

Good review.

Myerla said...

Are you saying my grandmother isn't cool???????????

Anywho good job, the film made me laugh and I really enjoyed it, Tatum was surprisingly good.

FilmMaster said...

Good review Jeff! I love the TV series and haveseen the first three series. Depp was great in seasons 1 and 2 and I was interested when I heard it was getting a film in early 2011. I hope it is entertaining as you say.

Dan O. said...

Hill and Tatum are great together here and add a lot to this film’s comedy but it’s just the way it is all written that makes it even richer. It’s making fun of those high school comedy conventions but at the same time, is inventing it’s own as it goes on. Great review Jeff.